November 20, 2007

International Children's Day

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International Children's Day coincides with Children's Book Week. I don't know if this was on purpose or not but it certainly brings to mind children's literacy around the world. I recently read this article about declining reading skills in the US. There was a lot of information in the report sited in the article but one ray of hope appeared regarding 9 year olds:

"I think there's been an enormous investment in teaching kids to read in elementary school," said NEA chairman Dana Gioia.

It's seems that as kids get older they abandon reading. Teachers, librarians are trying hard to encourage reading. It's difficult to keep their attention with the lure of technology.

Recently, my family went to a Robert Munsch show. He's quite a character. He didn't just read his stories, he performed them and got the kids involved. It was loud and chaotic but lots of fun for the kids. The adults enjoyed it as well. The stories can be a little weird and not always about the politest of subjects, but a giant green and purple fart certainly captures a Kindergartner's imagination.

Apparently, it's much harder to capture the imagination of a 15 year old.

9 comments :

  1. I'd like to see Munsch live. I find his books hit or miss, but the hits are certainly entertaining for kids- even if I, as an adult, find them a little formulaic.

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  2. I did read this article before. It's really very sad, isn't it?? I think a lot of it has to do with video games and movies too. Instant gratification that you don't get with books...since they take longer.

    Just makes me want to cry!

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  3. Don't cry, Stephanie :(

    John- He was very energetic! Some of his stories tend to be just slightly different from one another. The kid likes them though.

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  4. My daughter, who's 10, loves to read — especially fantasy, thank you Harry Potter — and I really hope she'll keep reading as she gets older.

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  5. I have to agree with Stephanie that video game, television, and, uh, computers cut into the time that could be spent reading.

    It IS sad because they are missing so much and because--according to the article--readers are more active socially, physically, culturally, and civically.

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  6. When the BTT was about reading habits, nearly evey one admitted to reading much less in the teenage, early twenties years and then getting back to reading. Maybe as long as you love reading when you are young, you will come back to it. I'd worrry more about children that don't like to read than teenagers. But our HS librarian says she has more students reading novels in the last few years than ever. For what it's worth.

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  7. Jenclair- We definitely didn't have all that when we were kids.

    Karen- Sounds like a good start!

    Raidergirl- That's good to hear.

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  8. as a grade school teacher, subbing now, and sometimes middle school, oh yes it is definitly a challenge to get any child to read these days,video games are to some extent the culprit, however, parents play a large role into the challenge as well and the choices that children have in this day are enormous as to compared to teh "1950s" say...it is a world of tecnology boomming and everyone has so much to do that reading gets sometimes left in the dust....

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  9. Maybe the tick down in older readers is just noise. The younger readers will get older and perhaps then in a few years we will see the interest among older students tick up again.

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